Can I get UK and Irish stations online in other countries?

Can I get RTÉ Radio One on Internet radio in Hong Kong?
– Denise

You normally can receive UK and Irish radio stations in other countries around the world.

Often nothing extra is required other than the same app or website you would use in the UK or Ireland to listen online. Occasionally presenters on radio stations like BBC Radio 2 and Today FM will read emails or messages from listeners in countries around the world and in different timezones.

This also applies to listening to stations like Today FM and France Inter in the UK.

If you prefer not to use an app or your smartphone, you will need a radio which can receive radio stations through the Internet. There are some models which are dedicated Internet radios as well as those which also have DAB/DAB+ and FM modes. A smart speaker would also work. Accessing the radio station website on your PC or laptop and clicking the Listen button is another way to listen from abroad.

Many Internet radios organise station by region and country. The various RTE radio stations would be listed under Europe, and then Ireland. Once you’ve found the stations you’re interested in they can be saved as presets to save looking through these lists each time.

Live sport and event coverage

One exception to this is coverage of live events and sport. Rights to broadcast sport commentaries are often sold by country or region. This means that a radio station like BBC Radio 5 live has the rights for Formula 1 commentary in the UK, but not in France.

If you were visiting France and tried to listen to the English commentary you would hear a message telling you that the station cannot bring you the live programme. Once the commentary is finished and the next programme without sports rights has started the stream will often work again.

This can be frustrating, especially if you are travelling and the local rights in that country are not broadcast in English.

Some radio station apps can’t be downloaded in other countries. The BBC advises listeners outside of the UK to download the international version of the BBC iPlayer Radio app rather than BBC Sounds.


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